Hey Wayne Boo-ney, the Queen is missing you and singing this song for you, "My Booney lies over the ocean, My Booney lies over the sea, My Booney lies over the ocean, Oh, bring back my Booney to England. Bring back, bring back, Bring back my Booney to me, to me. Bring back, bring back, Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me."
After two disappointing England performances it is crunch time for Fabio Capello and his squad with this game deciding if they are to stay on at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ or rather return home on Thursday with their tails between their legs. Slovenia are in a far healthier position and know that a draw will be enough to carry them into the knockout rounds for the first time at a major tournament.
Or in other words, ENGLAND WILL BE SHOWN AN EARLY EXIT TONIGHT! THEY WILL FOLLOW NICHOLAS ANELKA AS THE NEXT PARTIES TO ARRIVED AT HEATHROW AIRPORT. So, English fans, throw your red carpet for your superstars, eat your arrogance, egoism, your stupid foul-mouthed Wayne Boo-ney. This was what you said before the World Cup and look for what you're facing now?!
Slovenia were not expected to create major waves at this tournament but so assuredly have they gone about their business that they find themselves in a position to create history for their country. England, on the other hand, are trying to avoid history because you have to go all the way back to 1958 for the last time they failed to advance from the initial group phase of a FIFA World Cup in which they were participating.
While Slovenia can seal their progress to the second round with a point, England need to win to be certain of progressing. In fact, they desperately need to win as nothing less than a 3-3 draw would get them through if the USA somehow contrives to draw 0-0 with Algeria. Any US win, plus an England draw and the Three Lions go home in disgrace.
In 1950, England were famously humiliated by USA - they lost to Spain and victory over Chile didn't see them qualify - while in 1958, England drew with Brazil, Soviet Union and Austria and then lost a play-off to the Soviets. These are the only two occasions England have not escaped the group stage.
England have failed to win any of their last five first round matches against a fellow European side, while Slovenia have lost just one of their last nine international games since losing 2-1 to England in a friendly in September 2009, winning seven of these matches.
It's the million-dollar question for England supporters: can they put all that has transpired over the last few days behind them and bring their performance levels back to what is expected of them? Or are they stuck in a trough of poor form?
Ohh anyway, besides fielding Mathew Upson (Mathew who?!) for the final group match, England got a boost for the big game. Did you hear that? A boost! It's the all-red strip!
England last wore an all-red strip about nine-hundred years ago, winning all four games they played in the sanguinary shirts and shorts: two in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and in friendlies against Czechoslovakia in 1963 and Belgium in 1970. So, can the all-red strip cure England's woeful passing, inept finishing, flat movement, tactical unawareness, lack of confidence, positional indiscipline, rheumatism, whooping cough and scabies.
My verdict: England lost to or draw with Slovenia; USA beats Algeria thus knock England out of World Cup. Yeay!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Posted at 1:48 PM